Trying to catch up with myself

There’s a condition known, pace Lewis Carroll, as Red Queen Syndrome. It denotes a situation where in order to remain where you are you have to run as fast as you can, and to get anywhere else you have to run faster. For much of my life I seem to be in the middle of a three-week period of chaos, when it’s been crazy for the past ten days but I should have fought my way to the surface again in ten days’ time provided I keep nose to grindstone.

It doesn’t help when kind friends (who quickly become acquaintances) tell me it’s self-inflicted and I could have a quieter life if I chose.

Last weekend (23rd-24th August) I was storytelling at the local Festival – acquainting local residents with their own magnificent repository of folktales – and working with a couple of other writers to start an ‘informal’ writing group aimed mainly at younger people. Then I had a massive load of editing to do, and I was determined to complete the draft of the third part of my novel by the end of August. I did, just! Now I have to get on with parts four and five (with six a distant prospect) if I’m to complete the draft by the end of the calendar year, as planned.

Family crises and demands just add a little spice to the casserole of activity.

Next week will bring a literature group meeting, the Matlock storytelling cafe, the resumption of creative writing classes, a visit to an old people’s home to quiz the residents about their recollections of family members who fought in the First World War, and a follow-up meeting with the local writers. And, of course, further work with the novel.

Right now I need to sleep, and dream of Red Queens!

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